Tex-Mex Quinoa




Funny story: when finding this recipe it was called "Mexican Quinoa." I was telling my friend Gerardo, who is Mexican, what I made. His response, "How is that Mexican?" So I respond with the ingredients that goes in it and in the most frank and funny way he goes, "Chika that does not sound Mexican ... maybe Tex-Mex." I stop and think. Although it was funny, my passion and my research interests involve a lot of multicultural competence and diversity -- and I thought "hmm ... that is right!" And so I renamed it, Tex-Mex Quinoa ... after all food blogging could use a little reality check, right?

I have been seeing a lot of "quinoa" recipes floating around. And I kept thinking, what is this qunioa I keep seeing. Seemed a little organic hippie like to me -- but I am always for becoming a little more hippie. Plus people were always raving about how healthy it was and I could do a little more healthy too. Well I found a recipe using quinoa that sounded yummy and looked easy enough -- so why not try it? And I am glad I did!

I did not do a Favorite Recipes of 2014 because, well, I did not post very much. I was a very bad food blogger. But I know for sure that this recipe is going to be on my Favorite Recipes of 2015. I LOVED this recipe. This dish is filling, spicy and delicious. But don't worry if you do not like spicy -- you can make it less spicy! What more could you want? So now I am on a quinoa kick -- looking for yummy and creative ways or using quinoa. 






TEX-MEX QUINOA

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 (4 oz.) can of diced jalapenos
1 pound of ground meat (I used turkey)

2 (10 oz) cans of enchilada sauce
1 c. quinoa
1 (15 oz.) can of black beans
1 (14.5 oz) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 c. of corn kernels  
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 avocado, sliced

Garnish: lime, cilantro

DIRECTIONS

In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapenos until fragrant. Add in ground meat and cook through and browned. Discard any remaining liquid. Stir in enchilada sauce,  quinoa, black beans, diced tomatoes, and corn. Reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked. Fold in taco seasoning 1 tbsp. at a time until desired taste is reached. Top with avocado slices. Garnish as desired.

Enjoy,

Puppy Scoops Ice Cream Mix + Review




Check out my review of Puppy Cakes cakes mixes to make either a cake or pupcakes! As well as my review of their Carob Chip Cookie Mix!


Along with the Carob Chip Cookies, I was sent Puppy Scoops Ice Cream vanilla flavor to review. I was really excited to make this because Ninja is a huge fan of frozen yogurt and I knew he would love ice cream just as much. He has had it once before, he got a free tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream at Dairy Queen. However, when we gave him fro-yo from a store -- he vomited so we have stuck to things I make for him. So I am glad there is a dog-friendly ice cream I can make at home!



The first thing I noticed about the ice cream is it smelled amazing. And that says a lot because I am a huge chocolate person (though if the vanilla smelled this good can you imagine how the carob smells?) ... but yes smelled so good! Puppy Scoops comes in 4 different flavors: Vanilla, Peanut Butter, Maple Bacon and Carob as well. I am definitely going to try all these flavors out for Ninja. Perfect summer time treat to cool off after coming home from the dog park. The ice cream lasted for 5 days. Each day I gave Ninja 2 generous spoon fulls.


I tried to distract Ninja with toys but he soon got bored  but was a sweet boy and waited patiently while I made the ice cream. The ice cream pint comes with a baggie full of powder. Just dump the powder out in the container and add 2/3 cup hot water and stir. Even after stirring you will have little clumps, but that is okay! Freeze for at least 5 hours and voila -- you got yourself some ice cream.



Once it froze, I followed the suggestions to let it thaw for about 10 minutes and then serve. It was nice and creamy for Ninja to enjoy :) And well, you can easily see from the pictures that he loved it. Another paw-up for Puppy Cakes from Ninja!


Here is a list of Puppy Cake products you may also want to check out:
  • Wheat-Free Peanut Butter Cake Mix
  • Wheat- Free Red Velvet Cake Mix
  •  Banana Cake Mix
  • Carob Cake Mix
  • Wheat-Free Pumpkin Cake Mix 
  • Carob Chip Cookie Mix
  • Holiday Cookie Mix "Sugar" Cookies
  • Puppy Scoops Ice Cream Mix (4 different flavors)
  • Puppy Chillerz "Jello" for dogs
  • Puptato Sweet Potato Chips
You can buy these products either from the Puppy Cake website or from Amazon!
 
Enjoy,

No Bake Red Velvet Oreo Trufles




The big move keeps creeping closer! Now that we found a place and rented a moving truck -- it's all about wrapping up the little things. But it is always the little things that add up and make you a little bonkers. On top of that I am co-hosting both a bachlorette party and a baby shower in the same week. ::breathe in and breathe out:: Thankfully, I have a few celebrations squeezed in. Last Thursday we had an end of the semester/we are going off to internship celebration at Napa Flats. I was excited because I heard really good things about this place. I got the blackened red fish, tried a bit of the poblano mac n' cheese and had the Ghiradelli brownie.


The dinner was super fun. But I cannot say the same about the food. It was a total let down. The food was completely bland and eh -- I am pretty sure I could have bought a frozen fish, chopped up some vegetables and still got something yummier. Which is absolutely pathetic for a restaurant of the caliber they claim to be.


I tasted the poblano mac n' cheese -- which was decent. The concept sounds amazing and I will probably try to make it for the hubby -- but it was a white mac n' cheese with maybe a hint of poblano. It was delicious only in that it was mac n' cheese. I finished with the brownie topped with cookies n' cream gelato. It was good but not amazing -- but who am I to turn down a free brownie?!?


So its dessert time :) I was a big fan of the seasonal Red Velvet Oreos that were released for Valentine's Day. And took down a pack in less time than a normal person should ever do. I thought I would never see them again, but a little while ago the local Target had a close out sale on them! Well, I could not just let them go to waste. I knew I had to use them to make truffles and spread the joy that is Red Velvet Oreos to others. Sure enough everyone who tried them, loved them. I think the words used were yummy, delicious, and super moist. Dear Nabisco - I really hope you bring these delicious cookies back! Until then you can still buy these on Amazon.







RED VELVET OREOS TRUFFLES

INGREDIENTS 

1 (10.7 oz) package of Red Velvet Oreos
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
10-12 oz. of vanilla almond bark
1-2 tbsp. of olive oil
Red sprinkles

DIRECTIONS

Making the Oreo Truffles:
First crush Oreos. Here is what you can do:
  • The  Oreo pack comes in three columns. I placed each of the these "batches," one at a time, in the food processor to get a nice, even consistency of crushed Oreo. If you put too many Oreo in the food processor at once, you are likely to get lumps of cookie that are not crushed
  • If you do not have a food processor- you can crush the Oreos by placing each batch in (1) in a blender or (2) in a freezer size Ziplock back and crushing them by hand or with a rolling pin.
After each batch was crushed, I dumped the crushed Oreos into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment. Once all the Oreo have been crushed and placed in the bowl- add in the cream cheese. Mix until well combined and a dough like consistency has formed. Place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. Roll into 1 inch sized truffles. Place in freezer for 15 minutes or in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Dipping the Oreo Truffles:
In the meantime, melt either chocolate bark or candy melts according to package directions. This is my secret, once the chocolate is melted I stir in the vegetable oil. This makes the chocolate have a smoother and shinier coating :)

Now, I am going to tell you how I get perfectly dipped cake truffles but if you have your own method that works-- you are more than welcome to do it that way--this is just whats worked best for me. Once chocolate has melted, take an Oreo truffle and while holding the top half, dip the bottom half into the chocolate, then dip a cake pop stick into the chocolate (about 1/2 inch) and push into the center of the truffle until about, no more, than half way through. Let cool. This will make it much easier to dip the rest of the truffle- otherwise I have found that the truffle either gets stuck in the chocolate or falls off the stick.

Once cooled, dip the top of the truffle and a little part of the bottom, that was already coated into the chocolate. Immediately cover with sprinkles and allow to cool by sticking into flower foam. Once dried- holding the truffle with one hand, gently twist (while pulling slightly down) the cake pop stick with your other hand, and pull the stick out.

If you love these check out my No Bake Oreo Truffles and No Bake Golden Oreo Truffles.

Enjoy,